Tuesday, January 30, 2018


Today we dug the last of our potatoes (except for a few leftover supermarket ones we put in a half barrel).  We had a garden 900 mm x 2 metres 400 mm. plus 3 five litre buckets.

This is what we dug today - over 9.5 kilos.  Making a total crop of over 22 kilos. 

We are very pleased with this.

Sunday, January 28, 2018


We planted four different tomato plants this spring.  Bloody Butcher which produced quite well until the storms, Sweet n Neat Red which was good, Black cherry which is still going strong and the ever popular Russian Red.

Way back in 2013 I purchased a Yates Seeds 130 year Commerative Tin containing 10 packets of Seeds,  Most were still unopened so this year after planting the other tomatoes we sowed a few seeds of a Tomato called on the packet "Large Red".  These have been growing well and outgrew their posts while we were busy on other projects so that after one storm Doug spent a morning putting in new stakes and chopping the tomatoes back and retying them.

They are just starting  to ripen. .Tonight I picked the first, by no way the largest.  Here it is pictured next to a Black Cherry Tomato.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Last of the Purple Passion

Today we dug the last of the purple passion potatoes.  We only had a small area - half our raised bed and ended up with over 12.5 kilos.  A very pleasing result.

We also dug the first of our Agria potatoes which was a disappointment as we only got 3 potatoes from that plant so hope that the rest give a better yield. 

We are pleased with the crop of the Purple Passion and will be planting them again next year.

The potatoes before I washed then stored them.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Lemon Cardamon and Raspberry Torte.

Ever since Christmas I have been meaning to bake another one of these cakes and finally got around to it today.  It is a recipe I got from the New Zealand House and Garden Magazine and happens to be gluten free without any alteration.  There is a similar recipe here made with blueberries.  Mine has finely grated lemon peel added and I do not ice it.

It tends to be quite moist as I use frozen raspberries but is delicious like that.  The only problem is that it is so delicious it is hard not to have a second slice which is what we did this afternoon.  We are about to have another slice for our dessert now.    I am also about to make some yoghurt to have with the next slice tomorrow.  So I have just had the slice below with some ice cream and runny soy cream.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018


In yesterday's paper there was a recipe titled Vegetable noodles with Yellow tomatoes.  This was along the lines I had been thinking.  I have my spiraliser, courgettes, plenty of tomatoes (red ones) and freshly made pesto.

I "spiralised" one courgette and sauteed it then added a good handful of chopped tomatoes plus some prawns for added interest and cooked it till it seemed right.  Unfortunately, I forgot to add the pesto until I had plated up so there are two photos, plain and after adding some Parmesan,  pesto and the liquid left in the bottom of the pan which was delicious.  We will definitely be having this again.

Prior to lunch we had been to Kamo where I had a second treatment of Prolotherapy for my shoulder and Doug had his first of Ozone treatment.  My shoulder does seem to have a bit more movement after the first treatment although it is still very painful.  Doug was amazed with the Ozone treatment as he got an unexpected benefit.  His tinnitus disappeared and his hearing improved.  Whether this will be permanent we don't know but we are both going to have the Ozone next week.  Anyone else had Prolotherapy or Ozone treatment and, if so, were you happy with the results?

Tuesday, January 16, 2018


A storm is forecast and the wind has already got up so today I picked all the basil and used my new Kitchen Aid mini food processor to make a good batch of Pesto.  I made some a few weeks ago which was delicious.  

I also picked any tomatoes that looked vaguely ripe and the pesto will be delicious with them.  We bought several "new to us" tomato plants this year and, so far, the tomatoes are not very large but the last variety we planted just called "Red" are going to be bigger but it will be a while before they ripen.  I hope the storm doesn't finish them off as they have already had a hammering from the last storm.

No photo of the pesto but here are some of the tomatoes we have on the kitchen bench.

The small dark ones are a variety called "Black Cherry"

Monday, January 15, 2018


I think it must have been the end of October, just before we went away to Raglan, that we planted our Purple Passion potatoes.  I had never heard of them and bought them because they were on special and much cheaper than the usual Agria.  We later bought a bag of Agria and planted them as well.

Anyway,  we have just finished a bag of potatoes and the tops of our ones are dying down so today I dug the first plant.  900 gms of potatoes.  They could, possibly, have been left a bit longer as there were many smaller ones coming on but we will continue to dig them as needed from now on.

They get a good write up so we shall see when we have them tonight.


They were delicious.

Sunday, January 14, 2018


A quiet Sunday.  We decided not to go to our usual gym session this morning but did go to the local Tikipunga market where we bought an interesting book on superfoods, some avocados, a bunch of carrots (ours are still a bit too small), a slice of apple pie for Doug and another dozen sweetcorn.  We then walked Sophie in the park and came home for breakfast. 

The sweetcorn has been blanched and is off the cobs and chilling before being packed up for the freezer.

This week I bought a spiraliser and today pulled our first beetroot so I have just used the spiraliser on a beetroot, a couple of carrots and a cucumber.  For lunch we had the carrots and beetroot tossed with balsamic dressing with some walnuts, feta cheese and tomatoes.  It was delicious.  The cucumber was sliced on the spiraliser as well and was much easier to use than I expected.

this is what is left of the vegetables after spiralising

Sunday, January 7, 2018


As we did not go to the Growers' Market on Saturday we went to the local Tikipunga market this morning.  This is a mixed market with people selling all manner of things such as clothing and household items they no longer want, some excellent plant stalls, good baking and vegetables.  I wanted some avocados and got some nice looking ones as well as 12 sweetcorn for $10.00 which I think was a good buy for this time of year.  While we were out we took Sophie to the park.  We came home for breakfast and then Doug got started on the water blasting of the deck area ready for the painter tomorrow.  

Meanwhile, I blanched the sweetcorn, removed it from the cobs and then froze it in small packs.  The timing was good as it is a couple of days since we finished last year's corn.  I like the small packs as I use it in many ways: as a vegetable with a meal, in frittatas or soups.  I also made some more chia seed jam - this time with frozen blueberries and some dahl for tonight's meal.

I also managed to get through to my step-daughter's partner as they were out when I phoned for his birthday yesterday.  They live between Canberra and Sydney and have temperatures in the late 30's at present.  At least our temperatures never get that high and are now down to the mid 20's.

Saturday, January 6, 2018


The wind and on again off again rain continued yesterday and we went into town after lunch for our appointments.  The traffic was so bad that I got out of the car and walked the last part to the Osteopath. 

I went in to see Camille at 1 p.m. and Doug didn't arrive until about 1.30 p.m.  as he was driving around trying to find a parking space.  He eventually found one just out of the town area but not too far a walk. 

I think that everyone who was camping or planning a day at the beach decided to go to town instead because of the nasty weather.  I have not seen it that bad before and Camille said that on Thursday it was even worse with all her clients arriving late.

Today we have had less wind and the occasional shower.  After walking Sophie "around the block" this morning we got started on clearing the deck ready for the painter on Monday.  We are pleased with our progress and Doug will waterblast tomorrow.  I will try and make a start on clearing up the garden after the storm. 

We have just watched the news with the terrible storms in America and temps in the 40's for New South Wales plus roads washed out and homes flooded around New Zealand.  We got off lightly.

Friday, January 5, 2018


It is lucky we dismantled the tree and brought everything in from the veranda yesterday.  I think it would have all blown away overnight. 

After the painter finished Doug's grandsons came around and helped him get the roof back on the cat run - just in time.  Doug made sure it was well fixed on otherwise we would have lost it last night.  (It had to be removed for the painter to paint the eaves.

Considering the wind the garden looks remarkably good.  Some tomatoes have blown over and the courgettes have had a hammering.  It is still blowing and a slight drizzle so we will wait until it calms down before doing a proper check and clearing things up.

This afternoon we both have Osteopath appointments - I think they will be the last with the lovely Camille as she and her partner are going back to France.  She told me one problem her partner will have is his name - it is Laurence and French people always expect him to be female as it is a woman's name in France.  Anyway, it will be sad to say farewell to her.

We must also start to clear out the back covered deck ready for the painter on Monday.  At least from tomorrow for several days the forecast is for fine weather but that could change.

Thursday, January 4, 2018


A storm was forecast for today and, although we have had gentle rain most of the day, the wind is getting stronger now and some plants have been knocked over.

As the Christmas tree was in the verandah we took it and the other decorations down at lunchtime.  I usually leave them up until at least the 6th and often a lot longer (Max used to like them up until his birthday on the 10th).  

We needed the rain as the ground was parched but the wind could be a problem.  The wind and rain has just increased by several levels.

We have just had the house painted (everything above the brick) and, luckily, it was finished yesterday.  Next week the painter comes back to paint the covered back deck area and the deck itself.  One less job for Doug to do.